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Can / Be Able To

Listed below are examples and uses of can / could / be able to for ability and permission
Examples Usage

He can play tennis well. She is able to speak five languages. They can come on Friday. Jack will be able to come next week. He could swim when he was five.

Use 'can' or 'be able to' to express an ability or possibility NOTE: The future of 'be able to' is 'will be able to

They were able to get tickets for the concert. I was able to finish before 6. I couldn't come last night, sorry. OR I wasn't able to come last night, sorry.

Could in the past means the general ability to do something. IMPORTANT: If someone was in the position to do something, or managed to do something, we use 'was/were able to instead of 'could' In the negative,' wasn't able to' OR 'couldn't' are both correct.

Tom _______________________(buy) a new house last month. _____________________________ (they/play) tennis well? She _________________________________(not/understand) the question yesterday. Fred ___________________________ (speak) Russian when he was six years old. When ___________________________________________ (you/come) tomorrow? Unfortunately, they _______________________________ (get) the bread this morning. I ____________________________________(not / play) golf last Thursday. _________________________ (you / speak) Japanese? _____________________________(he / come) to the party next weekend. They __________________________ (get) tickets to the Rolling Stones concert last week. How ______________________ (you / convince) him to come to the exhibition last week? She _____________________________ (enjoy) the concert because of the noise outside. Read this composition. Fill in the blanks with can, could, cant or couldnt Before I came to this country I___________do many things in English.For example, I __________follow a conversation if too many people were talking at the same time. I ________express what I wanted to say. I _____pronounce words properly. I remember one occasion at a party, I _____________understand a word. I felt so uncomfortable. Finally, my aunt came to pick me up, and I ______________ to leave the party. Today I ___________understand much better. I_______express my opinions and I _____have a conversation in English. I am taking classes at the adult center. My teacher is very good. She __________ explain things well, and she always gives us the chance to talk a lot in class. I ________do a lot now, and I think in a few more months I _________do even more.I ________wait until the day I am completely bilingual. Can, Could, Be able to Quiz 1 _________________ he understand what you were talking about? 2 My sister __________________ play tennis now. 3 I _______________ walk when I was less than a year old. 4 (Polite) ________________ you tell me what time it is, please? 5 My grandfather __________________ to walk without any help last night. 6 I would like to _________________ to play the piano. 7 How long have you ____________________ to drive? 8 I'll ___________________ to help you later. 9 Can you help me? I __________________ never understand this. 10 Will Man _________________________ live forever one day?

Choose the correct form of 'can' or 'to be able to' to complete the sentences below.

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